Getting Additional Child Support in California
California courts have a well established guideline formula for calculating the amount of child support that a party is ordered to pay on behalf of their child(ren). There are other important things to know about guideline child support and how it is calculated, but in general, the guideline amount comes from a complex formula that includes many factors including the gross incomes for each parent as well as the number of children support is being calculated for. To read more about guideline child support, click here.
The guideline amount is intended to support a child in a manner that is suitable to that child’s circumstances, however, there are additional expenses related to child care that are not a part of the guideline formula, but that the court has discretion to order as additional child support.
Additional Child Support The Court Shall Order
Under Family Code § 4062(a), there are things that the court must order as additional child support a parent has to pay in addition to the guideline amount that was calculated.
The court will order additional child support for childcare costs that are incurred in relation to employment, training, or education.
This means that the court can order a parent to pay extra child support for childcare expenses such as the cost of attending a daycare center, after-school programs, family child care homes, and/or the cost of babysitters that are incurred by the custodial parent in order for that parent to work or attend school. A custodial parent is the parent who has primary physical custody of a child. The child primarily resides with this parent and this parent is responsible for the child’s day-to-day care.
The court will also order additional child support for “the reasonable uninsured health care costs” under Family Code § 4062(a)(2). Under Family Code § 4063(d) there is a presumption that uninsured healthcare costs that were paid for on behalf of the child are reasonable. However, there are certain uninsured healthcare costs that are not viewed as reasonable and may not be reimbursable by the non-custodial parent. An example of this would be if a parent obtained health care coverage for their child that was additional to what was court ordered, that parent has to be solely responsible for those additional costs.
Additional Child Support The Court May Order
The court can (but does not have to) order additional child support for other expenses associated with the child under Family Code § 4062(b).
The court may order additional child support to contribute to the educational expenses of the child such as school tuition or tutoring.
The court may order a parent to contribute to the cost of travel expenses that are associated with visitation such as airfare or transportation costs.
Other Special Needs of The Child:
The court may order a parent to contribute to the cost of extracurricular activities for the child, such as sports music lessons, or summer camps.
The court may also order additional child support for other special needs of the child that may include support for costs associated with special education programs or tutoring, assistive technology or devises such as wheelchairs or hearing aids, or for home modifications that accommodate a child’s disability such as wheelchair ramps or accessible bathrooms.
There are many reasons a court orders child support in addition to the guideline amount. The attorneys at Harris & McKeown Law Firm have been assisting clients with their child support matters for over 10 years and we understand the importance of obtaining support for your children to allow them to continue to thrive in the standard of living they are accustomed to.
If you are located in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, or San Bernardino County and you need advice regarding child support, schedule a consultation appointment online here or by calling (949) 297-6529.
THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT AND THIS GUIDE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE READER AND ITS AUTHOR. IF YOU HAVE LEGAL QUESTIONS, CONSULT WITH A FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY.